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First cruise liner takes off in Hong Kong as home port

The first cruise liner that homeports in China's Hong Kong took off at the Hong Kong Kai Tak Cruise Terminal with over 3,000 passengers on board here on Tuesday.

The Mariner of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International set off to China's Taiwan, and the sailing was jointly arranged by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Taiwan Bureau with Royal Caribbean International.

Addressing a ceremony held by the HKTB, chairman Peter Lam said the cooperation with other ports in the region essential for growing Hong Kong's cruise tourism as the cruise lines tend to chose attractive ports of call in the same region when planning an itinerary.

Looking ahead, Lam said HKTB is keen to collaborate with Taiwan and other regional ports to promote cruise development in Asia so as to attract international cruise companies to develop new itineraries featuring Hong Kong.

The cruise liner left Hong Kong for Kaohsiung and Keelung in Taiwan on a five-day, four-night tour. It will return to Hong Kong on Nov. 2, and set sail again in the afternoon on the same day to Kaohsiung, before going back to the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal on Nov. 5.